The show that I am in opened this weekend, and, despite my complaints about it in an earlier post, something funny happened.
I started to like it, and I started to understand why other people like it.
Don't get me wrong, I think that there are a few places where the book of the show could be better, but the show itself is fascinating for many reasons, but one of the biggest is the character of Eliza Doolittle.
The act 1 Eliza is stupid, though not necessarily in a bad way. It would, perhaps, be better to refer to her as ignorant in act 1, except some of the mistakes that she makes cross the line of being not at all intelligent. However, once Eliza hits act 2, she seems like she has received a Masters degree in interpersonal relations over the course of the intermission. She has somehow gained a depth of understanding so rich, that she is transformed from the lovable Eliza of act 1, to the brooding, suddenly unhappy Eliza of act 2.
Depending on how you want to look at it, it's either like she's changed from caterpillar into a butterfly, or from a butterfly into a caterpillar.
While I obviously understand that the fact that she changes is at the crux and essential motive of the show, her change is so big, that it is almost unbelievable. Almost.
How many of us, after screwing up or going through some particularly rough circumstances, have thought to ourselves, "I wish that I were someone else." The character of Eliza is compelling because she gets that chance, and we, as the audience, get to vicariously experience how changing into a different person is not always what we expect it to be.
As a side note, I can't imagine anyone doing as well at the part of Eliza as the actress who is in this show. As an actor, I can only imagine how difficult it is to make this change believable, and our Eliza seems to do it effortlessly.
2 hours ago